Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a particular intervention, such as a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. The studies follow strict scientific standards designed to protect patients and help produce reliable research results.
People are probably most familiar with the type of clinical trial that tests the safety and effectiveness of a proposed new drug for treating a specific illness. However, clinical trials can also evaluate one or more of a variety of interventions. In addition to drugs, clinical trials are used to study potential treatment options such as supplements, medical devices, alternative or complementary therapies and behavioral changes like diet or exercise.
While clinical trials most often compare a specific intervention to either a placebo or usual care, sometimes they may compare a new medical approach to a standard one that is already available.
If you think you might be interested in participating in a clinical trial, you can find more information about what is involved at ClinicalTrials.gov
Where to Find Clinical Trials
ClinicalTrials.gov – This Web site contains a database of public and private clinical trials and studies being conducted in all 50 states and 185 countries. It is maintained by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While a majority of clinical trials in the United States appear on ClinicalTrials.gov, not all studies are required by law to be registered.
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National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association – This nonprofit organization maintains a list of research opportunities related to fibromyalgia in the U.S. and several other countries.
National Health Service – This site is provided by the United Kingdom’s NHS, however, it does allow you to search for fibromyalgia-related clinical trials in other countries as well.
CenterWatch.com – This site allows you to search for global clinical trial information by medical condition and geographic location.
World Health Organization – This international clinical trials registry allows you to search for studies in numerous countries.
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